In cooperation with the Embassy of the Czech Republic in Beijing, See+ Gallery announced the opening of the solo exhibition featuring photography by most renowned Czech photographer Jan Saudek on May 25, 2013. Miroslav Ambroz, Curator for this exhibition chose representative photographs by Jan Saudek ranging from lyrical and romantic, to erotic and relatively brutal. This is his first solo exhibition in China and it will remain on view until June 30.
Born in Prague in 1935, Saudek cultivated his dream to become a photographer since he was given a little plastic Baby Brownie sometime in 1952. Self-taught, viscerally independent and hostage of the communist regime, he worked as a photographer for years in the cellar of his house(using the scraped off part of the room as his backdrop), vigorously achieving moral norms and social rules to follow his passion. And he mastered photography, which manged to free his delirium, his indignations: a mental grid, of the heart, of sex. Through his black and white shots ( which he began to color by hand from 1977), a grotesque and intriguing eroticism of his nudes are coarsely show both in its forms and content. His images explore dreams more than reality, although strongly characterized by bloody subjects always expressed by the person drawn, and by the use of hand colored images. These images produce a non-realistic and honorific effect on oneself, even if Saudek’s choice was dictated by accidental difficulty of dangerous findings and colored developments. His photography has been a celebration of characteristic of human nature since the 1970s: human beings, woman, fathers, mothers, lovers and babies and adolescents. The passing of time, birth and death. In the eighties, a series o antithetical elements entered his imagination: love and hate, beauty and ugliness, youth and old age. They are all an animalistic aggression that as such stroked his masochism.
Jan Saudek achieved his greatest commercial success after the Velvet Revolution in Czechoslovakia in 1989. He is well-known for his many nudes and characteristic use of color-tinting which adds a dreamlike quality to individual prints. In the 1990s he was one of the artists featured in an iconic ad campaign for Absolut Vodka and he also shot what became widely reproduced image for rock band Soul Asylum: the cover of Grave Dancers Union.
Jan Saudek uses ordinary people who came to him by themselves in his work – like the models one might find in a life-class rather than those in the magazines. Overwhelmingly these are pictures about life. Sometimes funny, sometimes pathetic, sometimes a little rude, but that’s perhaps rather like the real thing which conveys his affectionate embrace with beautiful things as well as his deepest respect for life.
About the exhibition
Duration: 25 May through 30 June, 2013
Venue: B10, 798 Art Zone, No.2 Jiuxianqiao Road, Chaoyang District Beijing
Tel: +86 10 59789266
Image Courtesy of the artist and see+ gallery, for further information please visit www.seegallery.net or contact email@example.com.